Seven elderly victims of Norwich bag thief denied justice for another 10 days due to technical difficulties
PUBLISHED: 17:18 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:41 23 March 2018
Elderly women who were the victims of a relentless bag thief will have to wait for justice for another 10 days, after the sentencing of their assailant was continually disrupted and eventually put back.
Justin Campling appeared in Norwich Crown Court on March 22, charged with seven robberies to which he has previously pleaded guilty.
However, due to court delays that day, prosecutor Martin Ivory only managed to outline his argument before the trial was adjourned until the following day.
At the time, Judge Moore told the dock officer that Campling, 40, was to be bought back on March 23 at 9am.
She also asked that messages be passed back to the prison to ensure his arrival, as previous cases had been affected by a lack of communication.
Previous victims of Campling returned the next morning, only to be told the prisoner had not been transported from HMP Norwich, and to return at 2pm.
The defendant was due to appear via video link.
The court assembled once again before Judge Moore that afternoon, at which point CCTV footage was brought before the court showing a woman in her 70s being pulled to the ground as Campling stole her bag.
Via videolink, Campling remained silent before court clerks notified the judge the signal link to HMP Norwich was faulty.
After technical difficulties it was established the court could see the prison booth, but not vice versa.
Upon consulting with his legal aid, Campling agreed his sentencing should be pushed back until he could be produced before court.
At this point, the friend of a former victim stormed out of the court.
Judge Moore said: “This is very unfortunate, through no fault of your own Mr Campling.
“I’m extremely sorry the video link has failed to the extent that we cannot use it. It would be extremely unfair for you not to be able to see what we are, and to be able to fully participate in your sentencing.
“I am also sorry to the seven victims who expected a sentencing.”
Judge Moore added: “We will try and get to the bottom of it.”
Campling will now appear before Judge Moore on April 4.
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